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Finding Meaning Brings Happiness Into Life

Finding meaning brings happiness into life.

This video’s closing line is “Happiness comes and goes, but when life is really good and when things are really bad, having meaning gives you something to hold onto.” Watch this TED Talk to see this speaker’s perspective on happiness vs. meaning in life.

Writer Emily Esfahani Smith explains that she had always felt the pressure of society to find happiness. Then she states that she had been lead to believe that success leads to happiness.

In her pursuit of fulfillment, she felt more anxious than fulfilled. Her friends felt similar.

She then went to school for “Positive Psychology” and soon discovered that pursuing happiness was actually making people unhappy.

According to the research, the despair many people feel comes from a lack of meaning in life.

Emily tells us that many psychologists define happiness as a state of comfort and ease, feeling good in the moment.She then states that meaning is deeper.

She quotes psychologist Martin Seligman – “Meaning comes from belonging to and serving something beyond yourself. And from developing the best from within you”

Ms. Smith tells us that she spent five-years, focusing on education and research to understand meaning in life.

Emily’s conclusion is that there are four-pillars of meaning that one can pursue.

Pillars of meaning-

  • Belonging
  • Finding Purpose
  • Transcendence
  • Story Telling


Being in relationships where you are valued for who you truly are and you value others as well. She explains that sharing beliefs or certain values with others is not real belonging. Real belonging is valuing one for who they are on a much deeper scale than a shared belief or group association.

Emily tells us that true belonging stems from love and shared moments.


Purpose is far more than finding the right job, although purpose can be found in a job.

She tells us “Purpose is less about what you want than what you give.” And that “The key to purpose is using your strengths to serve others”

Purpose can vastly different from one person to the next.

The most purpose in one’s life could come from raising their children. The next person may find purpose in healing others, physically, mentally, or emotionally. It could come from developing community resources that keep local youth safe, or helps troubled youth. Purpose could come from involvement with the church to help people and communities. It could come from a job in law enforcement or military service.

Purpose can be completely different for one person to the next, while the elements of serving others and something bigger than one’s self are the elements that create purpose.

“Without something worthwhile to do people flounder” Emily says.


Ms. Smith defines transcendence as “the moments when your sense of self fades away and you feel connected to a higher reality.”

Three examples of transcendence that Emily mentions are art, church, and writing. Just like purpose, transcendence is highly individual. One person’s experience of transcendence can be drastically different than the next person’s.

Story Telling

This pillar is one that both myself and ESS Founder Chris Rickerson have in common. Me as a Video Producer, my career has become to tell stories using images and sound. Chris tells about his struggle and successes to inspire others to be the best version of theirselves. He encourages employees to build a future of success through dependable hard work.

Story telling is how we view our own story, as well as how we convey our story to the world.


Happiness is a short-term feeling that happens in a moment. It comes and goes… Fulfillment comes from finding meaning in life.

Maybe your job brings meaning into your life. Maybe your job supports your meaning in life outside of work.

In the long-run, Elite Staffing Solutions hopes to provide opportunities for employees to find meaning in life. Whether one finds that meaning at work or elsewhere, we are here to provide jobs for those who want to work hard to build a fulfilling life.

happiness comes from finding meaning in life

Post by Mike Gamache Blogger, Video Producer

Contact ESS to learn about temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire opportunities in the Greater Wichita Area.


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